FanPost

When does a NHL player peak?

The other day there was a discussion in the comments section of this article about the Jagr signing. In regards to when a player is at their peak. Someone had posted this statement:

...players peak around 25 in the NHL.

I had then stated:

This just isn't true.

Period.

It was pretty short and to the point. Without pointing to any specific reasons behind my short blunt opinion. I took some flak. A long discussion followed. Some people disagreed with me and some people might have agreed.

I don't believe there is a real good way to measure at what age someone peaks or I should say peaked. For players who are still playing it's real hard if not impossible. For players who are done playing. With enough time and effort you can possibly calculate when some peaked. At least statistically. But we are talking about just the numbers. There are many variables that go into how those numbers come out. Trades, Injuries, Team systems, Length of Career are just some.

Looking back, I think in the moment. I seen someone write "...players peak around 25 in the NHL" I wasn't thinking just an average of goals & assists. I was thinking as an all around player. Not just a statistical average. In the conversation I pointed to an the example of Wayne Gretzky. Who had fantastic years when he was traded to the Kings at the age of 28. (He might have been 27)

So we have to define what peaking is. Is it point production? Goals? Defensive ability? I think in the context of the discussion the other day it was point production. (For Forwards) So I was trying to figure out a way to look at modern players. Players from the last decade. Even with some of the guys still playing.

This is what I came up with. Below is a chart of all the players who have finished in the top ten in scoring and their age. For the last decade. Since some players tie in points you'll notice there are more then just 10 each year. I included the point cut off for what qualified being in the top ten. Then the average age is at the bottom.


2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2004 2003

Cut Off: 47 points 76 points 76 points 85 points 84 points 83 points 92 points 92 points 73 points 85 points














St Louis 37
35 34
32 31
28


Stamkos 23 22 21 20







Ovechkin 27
25 24 23 22 21 20



Crosdy 25

22 21
19 18



Kane 24

21







E.Staal 28
26



21



Kunitz 33










Kessel 25 24









Hall 21










Datsyuk 34


30 29





Getzlaf 28
26
24






Riberiro 33



28





Toews 25
23








Giroux 25 24 23








Zetterberg 32
30

27





Backstrom 25

22 21






Tavares 22 21









Malkin
25

22 21





Spezza
28


24





Kovalchuk
28
26 25 24
22 20


Neal
24









H. Sedin
31 30 29







Elias
35





27


Hossa
32



27 26 24


Whitney
39









Thornton
32
30 29 28 27 26 24 23

Gaborik
29
27
25





Eberle
21









Kopitar
24









D Sedin

30 29







Perry

25








Iginla

33
31 30 29
26


Selanne

40


36




Richards

30 29



23


Parise



24






Savard



30
28 27



Carter



23






Lecavalier




27 26




Alfredsson




35
33 31


Kovalev




34





Heatley





25 24
21

Sakic





37
34


Jagr





34 33 31


Briere





29




Cheechoo






25



Naslund







30 29

Stillman







30


Lang







33


Tanguay







24


Hejduk







27 26

Sundin







32


Recchi







35


Sullivan







29


Forsberg








29

Bertuzzi








27

Demitra








28

Murray








30

Lemieux








37

Palffy








30

Modano








32














Average Age: 27 27 28 26 25 28 28 25 28 28
27

The average age of a top ten scoring forward each year for the last decade is 27. I rounded the numbers. So its 27.1 to be exact. Well this shows absolutely nothing. I could have guessed this. As a matter of fact I did guess it. While I was putting it together I said, 'It's going to be 27". I think any well informed hockey fan could have guessed this. I was actually a bit disappointed with the results.

I mean, Whats the average NHL career? Ages 21 to 33? (I'm just guessing) Well 27 is right in the middle. I don't think this chart shows players peak at 27. It's just something I put together and wanted to share. Take it for what it is. I fully intended on going further with this. But I don't see a point. I hope no one is disappointed. I just feel the results are going to be similar and not really definitively confirm anything.

Never the less it is neat to see the individual players broken down like this.

Side Note: Been member here a while and this is my 1st attempt at a Fan Post.

So Enjoy, Discuss and Thanks.

All FanPosts and FanShots are the respective work of the author and not representative of the writers or other users of In Lou We Trust.

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